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WIAA Ready for Girls State Wrestling Tournament

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 01/21/22, 7:00AM CST


We’re just over a week out from the first-ever WIAA Girls State Individual Wrestling Tournament. The event, which will be at the La Crosse Center on Saturday January 29th, will highlight girls wrestling as a WIAA priority.

Having a separate girls’ tournament officially backed by the WIAA offers the sport and girl wrestlers a new kind of legitimacy and honors those that paved the way. The WIAA is showcasing their belief in the sport, and are eagerly designing a welcoming environment for growth. 

Mel Dow, Associate Director of the WIAA, joined Teague Fenwick and Steve Leurquin on the Wisconsin Wrestler Podcast to discuss some of the process and highlights leading into next week. Some of the highlights are below, but you can listen to the full episode, here

The WIAA is ready to roll out a championship experience. The La Crosse Center is described as a magnificent venue and is situated near hotel and dining accommodations for everyone driving in. The conversation about merging the boys and girls tournaments at the Kohl Center in Madison is on the table, and Dow said they’re working to make it happen. 

The event will be livestreamed by Bally Sports. Finalists will participate in a parade of champions; an experienced announcer will be on the pa system, and there will be live commentary during the finals. Dow stated, “We are building a wrestling tournament from scratch, and we want it to be an incredible event and to have that championship experience that we experience in all of our other sports.” 

Placers will be awarded medals by Adeline Gray, Olympic silver medalist and six-time world champion in women’s freestyle wrestling. 

Additionally, the WIAA will host a reception between the semis and finals to kick off a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. “We’ve invited over 50 different individuals who have made an impact on high school sports in Wisconsin.” From wrestling, that includes invites out to pioneers like Alyssa Lampe and Macey Kilty. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. 

Girls’ wrestling continues to grow rapidly across the country, and the expectation is that the WIAA’s support will supplement exponential growth from Wisconsin. 

As a reminder, the WWF will supply all USA Wrestling female members outside of grades 9-12 free admission to the historic event. Please email with your name and the email address where you would like to receive your ticket voucher to claim your entry. The WWF will forward your information to the WIAA office, and you will receive the voucher via email prior to the event. Requests must be submitted by Saturday, January 22nd. 

General admission tickets are $11 and must be purchased online. Tickets will be good for the entire day. Session I (preliminaries through semifinals) will be contested from 9:00am – 4:00pm. Session II will begin at 6:30pm with the parade of champions and finals. Seeding and draws will take place Sunday, January 23rd using Trackwrestling. 

The WWF is happy to partner with the WIAA as they host their first official Girls State Individual Tournament in the sport of wrestling. Please join us as we make it one to remember for athletes, parents, and coaches. 

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